If you have been injured due to your working conditions, WorkCover is required to offset all payments for treatment. Occasionally, this is not the case and Australian employees are left out of pocket. If you are unhappy with the financial support you have received, we’ve put together this guide to the process of appealing a workers’ compensation decision.
Seeking a Review for a WorkCover Decision
If you are unhappy with an insurer’s decision on a claim, it is within your rights to seek a review. Reviews are conducted by the Office of Industrial Relations on behalf of the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.
A worker, claimant or employer can apply for a review for free; however, it is strongly advised to seek a solicitor’s advice to help you prepare your application. The review process does not involve an additional investigation – it is merely a review of the original papers to decide whether a second administrative officer would come to the same, or a different, conclusion.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Review
The next step is appealing the review decision. You have the right to make an appeal within 20 business days of receiving the first outcome. If your employer appeals a review decision, you are able to act as a party to the appeal and join the court action. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the appeal process:
1. Prepare Your Written Notice of Appeal
The necessary forms are available from the QIRC website. In this form, explain thoroughly why you are unhappy with the review decision – this will assist the governing officers to understand your point of view.
2. File Your Appeal within 20 Business Days
You may send your appeal in person, by fax, post or email. All of the necessary contact details are on the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission website.
3. Send a Copy to the Office of Industrial Relations
Office of Industrial Relations
PO Box 10119
Brisbane QLD 4000
4. Prepare for and Attend the Hearing
The QIRC issues directions for the appeal, including a prepared statement of facts and contentions. Your case must be proven on the ‘balance of probabilities’ – witnesses will be called; including yourself, your doctor/s, and any physical witnesses.
The parties are required to exchange relevant documents and disclose all information to each other, at least 10 days, before the hearing. The commissioner will make the final decision based on evidence provided during the hearing.
5. Appeal to the Industrial Court
If you disagree with the QIRC decision, you may file another appeal within 21 days – you can find this form on the Industrial Court of Queensland website. This decision is final and will close your case.
Seeking Legal Advice
Making an appeal is a lengthy and complicated process that can be simplified by the help of trustworthy legal advice. An attorney will organise documents and ensure your evidence is efficient while constantly working in your best interests. Making appeal after appeal may end up costing you an extraordinary amount of money; a solicitor gives guidance on whether taking the next step will be wise.
If you are contemplating appealing a WorkCover decision, do not hesitate in contacting Brisbane Injury Lawyers online or calling 07 3188 5800. Our expert attorneys are your greatest resource when navigating this process.